Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Shrimp on the Barbie

My friend J arrived Friday night. Yesterday was his birthday. To celebrate, I got him tickets to Colour of Panic at the Studio in the Sydney Opera House. Scored front-row seats! Unfortunately, the two glasses of wine had me nodding off in the middle of the one-man show - sorry Nicholas Hope! It really wasn't that bad! J classified it more as performance art rather than a play; it was ... interesting.

Before that we had lunch and a drink on Oxford Street, just so J could say he went to a gay bar in Sydney. We went to the most unlikely gay bar - our bartender at the Oxford Hotel did not know how to make a vodka martini, and he thought a cosmo was mixed with gin. Plus, the music ranged from Eighties dance/new wave to Metallica, tres bizarre. Since we tipped well, the guy behind the bar did give me a free pass to their Graveyard Shift. Woo woo, me with a bunch of leather boys after 2am.

After dinner at Doyle's, I suggested a disco nap so that we would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for some fun back on Oxford Street. J definitely concurred; the time change caught up with him. I ended up completely crashing and burning and waking up at 3am, contacts still in, clothes still on, and teeth unbrushed. Yeech. But at least I was all set to pick up my boyfriend at the airport nice and early. Yeay!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How To Speak Australian 2

Last night I learned that "root" means fornicate (i.e., screw, bang, shag, bonk, you get the idea). This was revealed to be by my boss' boss' boss at a team dinner. Needless to say, the wine did not make me turn red.

Guess no one sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" or wears Roots Canada sportswear. How do they refer to the portion of a plant that absorbs water and nutrients from the soil?!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Free Stuff Rocks

People pass out free weekly city guides at the train stations around town - 9 to 5 and City Weekly. It reminds me of Time Out but not as edgy. There are definitely some good suggestions for events and things to do, as well as decent fashion and beauty tips. The pages of ads for hookers and massage parlors probably fund the publishing (yes, Virginia, prostitution is legal here, albeit regulated).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Not As Crazy As You'd Think

The weather cleared up late yesterday, so I did the Sydney Harbor BridgeClimb. A good chunk of time is devoted to suiting up and simulation (no cameras allowed - boo hoo) and four picture breaks, but it was over 400 stairs to climb so still a decent workout. You are always strapped onto the safety cables, and the coverall and gear ensure that you have everything you need attached somewhere. Photos came out great - these are coming soon!

The Aroma Coffee Festival was quite nice today, but the one stand I wanted to try was too crowded. Perhaps I will take another schlep out to Bondi Junction to buy some drinking chocolate, maybe check out the beach while I'm there.

Also enjoyed the view and the scene at Opera Bar post-lattes. Too bad we couldn't get a seat outside, but the inside part was completely open to the patio, so wasn't too unfortunate. Had a nice relaxing drink and snack with co-workers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

How to Speak Australian

I've picked up quite a bit of Ozzie slang while here:

No worries = No problem
Bits = Stuff
Potato Gems = Tater Tots
Pissed = Drunk
Taking the Piss = Making Fun Of
Tomato Sauce = Ketchup
Beetroot = Beets
Hungry Jack's = Burger King
Maccas = McDonalds

Tonight after getting pissed, we went to Maccas (which I thought for a while was Mackers), which is apparently ritual here. Everyone there seemed to be drunk. Since I normally hate to have food I can eat at home, but nothing else was open, I tried something new. The McOz has a slice of beetroot on it. It was quite good. Almost got into an altercation with some idiot who corrected me when I said ketchup. I told him to bite me, and he followed me around the store asking if that was a invitation, promise, or threat.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I'm With Stupid

I know I'm a little behind the times here, but my excuse is that I'm 14 timezones away...

Our friend Andrew is an Internet celeb! He even was written up on Wired. All because some stupid Congressman in bed with telecom shot his mouth off. Well, at least he can blame GW for setting the precedent.

Go buy a t-shirt.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Semi-Conscious Observations (so far)

  • Sydney is like London, but with better weather and without the collective rod up the bum.
  • I am never ever ever complaining about prices in New York ever again. Most consumer goods are cheaper in the States than here, and this is accounting for the dollar's advantage with the exchange rate. For example, CK One Summer perfume costs $40 at Sephora; here at Myer department store, it's AU$80 (approximately $60). I hope this does not lead my colleagues over here to send me orders to be shipped via interoffice mail...
  • Sushi here is kinda lame. They use CANNED TUNA. The horror! I have been told that Mexican sucks, but I haven't been yet.
  • Target is infinitely cooler in the US (well, relatively speaking). The branch I went to in Bondi Junction was about half the size of any Target in the US and did not have any cool designer clothing lines. Plus, there was no food or cleaning products. I did find a cheap hair dryer, but no Febreze.
  • Aussies do not seem very paranoid about security. While I was sleeping on Saturday (sometime in the late afternoon, mind you) , someone from the real estate agency popped in to bring me a complimentary breakfast basket. They did not merely leave it outside my door; they came in and left it in the front hallway. I did not realize someone was there until they had already entered my apartment. Even then, after she announced herself, all I did was mutter "OK".

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Arrived in Sydney at 6am, before sunrise. I must say, Qantas biz class ROCKS! Good food, good movie selection. Only thing I wasn't as crazy about are the reclining seats need a tad bit more padding. It was cool to drive into the city as the sun came up, with Leonard Cohen on the radio, courtesy of my awesome cab driver.

My apartment is in Milsons Point, a cute little suburb right across from the CBD (central business district) with great views of the harbor, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House.

As excited as I am to be here, I am very homesick. It didn't help that my bloody mobile cannot make international calls. When I called Vodafone Australia to sort it out, they said they can't help me. DAMN! Monday I get a company phone, thank goodness, but until then I am SOL.

Please email me!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Could Get Used To This

Sipping a glass of moscato at AA's Admirals Club in JFK Terminal 9, I realize that I may never be physically capable of flying coach again. I wonder if Qantas' lounge in LAX is even better...

HINT: If you are flying to Australia on a oneworld carrier, call AAdvantage's hotline and sign up for the Platinum Challenge. Even without business or first bonus points you can hit platinum if your round trip is within 90 days.

Au revoir mes amis! More to come from Down Under!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Post-Holiday Blues

Today sucked. I am leaving for Oz in a day. Not only did I not have a plane ticket as of this morning, I ended up making the arrangements myself. Also, I had to submit my corporate card application twice, and when the project manager sent an email asking for a cash advance for me, I had to send five emails and fill out another form to get it done. Hopefully they will be able to cut the check before I leave today. Cramps are not helping the situation. I really don't like having so much dumped on me in one day, especially since I have not been busy for the last week and a half.

This may sound odd, but I can't wait to be on the plane tomorrow.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Had my birthday party tonight (well, yesterday). Kirby and I were born three hours apart, so we threw a joint shindig. Jason and I got caught in the rain and ducked into Mosto for food on the way to Katra. Overall it went well, but I think the stress of this week made me more tired than usual.

Normally I like parties, but I find it exhausting to host big ones, especially as I get older. It makes me feel really guilty to not be able to talk to someone or a group of people for a long period of time. I think going forward I will either have them at home or just have smaller ones.